Important New Ruling for Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Plaintiffs

A new ruling by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court may allow
medical malpractice cases to proceed even in the absence of physical harm. The
case involved a pregnant mother who had a late pregnancy ultrasound and was not
told about any abnormalities with her unborn son. When her son was born, he had
no arms below the elbows, no legs below the knees and several other problems
that quickly cost him his life.

That outcome would not have changed had the mother known
about the child’s condition during pregnancy. However, the mother contends that
she suffered significant emotional distress from the lack of information
provided.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court affirmed the ruling of the
appellate court and found that the mother had the right to file a lawsuit
because the negligent infliction of emotional distress may include people who
have been emotionally harmed, but suffered no physical injury, from medical
malpractice.

It remains to be seen how this ruling will play out in the
courts and whether there it will open the door for more medical
malpractice cases in Pennsylvania
.